All Stood Still

The only tan man in a world of black and denim, Sam surveyed Rockworld. There was a statuesque lady in a basque over by the pool tables, lots of large hairy rockers and more than a few of the short cute indie chicks he lusted after. One day, he really had to talk to one of them.

The beer had taken him away from the dislocated feeling that had lingered from Market Street. Now he needed to dance. Where was everyone else?

Out on the dancefloor, hiding behind one of the pillars, the gang were safe from extreme mosh. They were collecting discarded bottles, though. Another lee. Sam tapped one bottle aside, just to see where it rolled. He guessed the rhythm, matching the beat through trial and error. At this time of night everyone was too drunk to mock his geek level lack of coordination.

The playlist boiled down to six or seven songs he recognised, three he didn’t then back to familiar territory. An acceptable ratio. The DJ launched straight into Teen Spirit. Everyone on the dance floor puffed up. Lots of people off were drawn in.

Sam had once had the hair for this song. Now it was too short. It didn’t flap, let alone fly, around his head as he banged. He imagined it growing out on the down swing, swirling round and obscuring his vision on the up.

Everything slowed down, went blurry. The song was driven by a slow strong heartbeat rather than charging anger. The other dancers were dark blurs, black on black on black. All merging together, lost in the trance. Sam was moving as slow, but he could look all around, his eyes spinning in their sockets.

There. In the middle of the dancefloor, a fine, slim shape, the faintest hint of blue. Appearing from nowhere, with a residual glow from the journey. She looked around then walked off, the crowd parting before her. Normal speed rather than the treacle slow of the dancers.

For a moment Sam was distracted. Across the dancefloor, the only other person in focus. Short, dark hair, pale face, an indie chick from his sweetest fantasy. She was staring at him, briefly distracted from the new arrival.

And the music was back, proper speed. Sam staggered, off balanced by the shift. He considered running across the dancefloor, after the blue glowing woman. Or the dark, staring girl. It wasn’t going to work. He could skirt the dancefloor, intercept them at the door.

What he might say didn’t occur to him. He just had to catch up with either of them. The gang were staring as he took off, he didn’t have to look around to know that.

The blue woman was through the door, the people she passed oblivious to her, and turned toward the Rock room. The girl was a few steps ahead of Sam. She had a fitted top and snug jeans. Sam had just seen someone materialise on a crowded dancefloor and he was thinking of cupping a hand and feeling those arse cheeks. His priorities were still in the right place.

Through the Rock room and they still couldn’t catch their vision. Into the PVC room. It was a dead end, maybe now they could get some answers.

Except she wasn’t there. There was a woman in an all white outfit, hot pants, bustier and fishnets, dancing with herself, but no mysterious glowing lady.

The indie chick turned to Sam. She had big brown eyes, pale skin and fine features. If she talked to him he was going to fall in love.

“That’s the second time that’s happened to me today.”

Smitten, Sam could just nod. “Me too.”

Originally published in Cycling on the Pavement. A bit more of my alternate world story.

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